Battle of San Romano

(1432)
   A battle in which the Florentines, led by Niccoló da Tolentino, were victorious against the Sienese army of Bernardino della Ciarda. The event was commemorated in three panels painted by Paolo Uccello, now respectively in the National Gallery in London, Louvre in Paris, and Uffizi in Florence (1430s). The first shows Niccoló da Tolentino leading his troops to victory amidst the chaos of the battlefield. Armored horsemen charge against each other, while a fallen soldier and discarded weapons litter the foreground. The second depicts Micheletto da Cotignola, a condottiere allied with the Florentines, framed by the lances held upright around him. In the third panel, Bernardino della Ciarda is thrown off his horse while other fallen soldiers and horses occupy the foreground. The paintings are thought to have been created for the Medici, since they are listed in a 1492 inventory of their possessions. They divulge Uccello's obsessive use of perspective and foreshortening to the point that verism is lost. Instead, the compositions become decorative, static, and devoid of the emotive component needed to render a convincing battle scene.

Historical dictionary of Renaissance art. . 2008.

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